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Part of eastbound I-10 in West Valley to be closed over Feb. 9 weekend

(Flickr/Daniel Oines)

PHOENIX — Part of a major freeway in the West Valley will be closed this weekend to allow for construction on the 22-mile South Mountain Freeway.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, the eastbound I-10 will be closed between 59th and 43rd avenues from 10 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, to 5 a.m. on Sunday.

The eastbound I-10 on-ramps at 75th, 67th and 59th avenues will also be closed to help reduce traffic backups.

In order to avoid delays or traffic due to this closure, officials recommend that drivers exit at 59th Avenue and take Van Buren Street or McDowell Road before re-entering the highway at 43rd Avenue.

Drivers can also take alternative routes, including the Loop 101 west of the Interstate 17 or exiting the I-10 sooner and taking local streets.

Crews will also take this time to shift travel lanes along the eastbound I-10 and place a temporary concrete barrier to allow for the extended closure of the on-ramp at 51st Avenue. This ramp will be closed from Feb. 10 to March 17. The westbound I-10 off-ramp at 51st Avenue will be closed through March 3.

In addition, the southbound Loop 101 on-ramp at Olive Avenue will also be closed from 9 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. on Monday for pavement improvements. Traffic along the US 60 in the Apache Junction and Gold Canyon areas will have heavier weekend traffic through April 1 due to the Renaissance Festival.

The South Mountain Freeway, Arizona’s largest single highway project, “will provide a direct link between the East Valley and West Valley and a much-needed alternative to Interstate 10 through downtown Phoenix,” according to the department.

So far, it is more than 35 percent complete with construction currently underway in all but one section, which the department plans to expand work soon.

The freeway project was first approved in 1985 and again in 2004 by voters. It is part of a comprehensive regional transportation plan that will complete the Loop 202 and Loop 101 freeway system.

It is scheduled to open in 2019.

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